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6 essential survival tools you need in your pack

  • Nov 3, 2014

Whether you're braving the wilderness on a long backpacking trip or headed out for a few hours to your favorite hunting spot, there's some gear you always want to have handy just in case something goes wrong. Here are a few of the must-haves you need to survive out in the wilderness. 

1. A solar-powered watch 
The first item on Outside magazine's list of important survival gear was a sun-powered watch from Casio, because when you're stuck in the wild you don't want to have to rely on a battery. In addition to letting you keep track of time, you can opt for models with altimeters, barometers, tidal charts and thermometers. Also, this watch won't fall apart with a little rain, water or mud; it'll stick by you even when the elements get tough. 

2. A good knife 
Since Seattle-based hiking group the Mountaineers published its list of the top 10 essentials in the 1930s, some items have become outdated. For example, a watch compass can easily replace the old magnetic tool. But a fixed-blade knife or multitool is still a great idea. 

A reliable blade can help you do everything from cutting cloth for shelter to defending yourself. Some prefer the K-Bar, Army-style fixed blade for more strength, while others like the convenience and options of a multitool. Depending on the location, some people also carry machetes or axes, especially if there's a real need to build serious shelter or collect substantial amounts of firewood.

3. Water purification tablets and a metal cup 
If you're lost and need to spend some time outside, it's still important to get water and stay hydrated. While it may not be hard to find running water from a nearby stream, the microbes and bacteria carried along can cause serious harm. It's important to boil or treat water before you drink it, even if it's running. Wired magazine recommended purification tablets or a filtration system as well as a cup or can to boil water in. 

4. Fire starting materials 
To boil water, you'll need fire. Although you can use a variety of friction-based techniques to get a fire started, the easiest way to have a few emergency supplies with you in case the worst happens. Modern Survival Blog suggested "Strike Anywhere" matches. These matches are easy to light because of their white phosphorous tip. They don't need a box to strike against.

Wired magazine suggested bringing a variety of items to help you get a fire going. 

"Starting fires with a mischmetal flint in a dry climate is easy, but in wet weather, you may need a cigarette lighter and some flammable helpers to get your fire going. Cotton balls covered in wax, solid backpacking stove tablets, or a flask of Bacardi 151 are all viable options," the magazine explained. 

5. Cord, cover, clothing 
While not nearly as exciting as fire or multitools, it's important to have cord or rope, a tarp or covering, and extra clothing. Rope or cord can help you make anything from a useful shelter to an animal trap. Your tarp or covering is the best way to protect yourself and belongings from the elements. And clothing can be just the thing to keep you from getting hypothermia when the temperature drops. 

6. First aid supplies 
Plenty of places sell first aid kits, but you should build your own so you know you have the right gear. Be ready to deal with everything from a small cut to a large gash. Gorp advised outdoorsmen to take a first aid class from the American Red Cross or Wilderness First Aid to know exactly what they'll need in your kit and how to use it. 

Having a watch that is solar powered is a key essential to survival in the wilderness. The last thing you would need is for the battery to die on you. The PAG240B-2 is the perfect tool that covers everything you will need. Not only is it solar powered but it also features a compass, barometer, tide graph, thermometer, and altimeter. We want you stay safe out there! Pick one up before your next adventure. You never know when you will need it!